EAA Chapter 1502 East Coast Open Day and Fly-in at Grass Roots Airfield.

Gerald Maddams's picture

The Open Day at Grass Roots has been an institution for almost 30 years.

Graham and Sally McDonald built the airfield and they set up 16 December as a good time to have a get-together with aeroplanes and people. It has always been a fly-in - however, the weather often conspires against such activities in KZN at this time of the year, bringing misty cold days - or scorching windy days - or any combination of the above.

This year it was the latter combination with a large, hot sun raising the temperature whilst a strong, cool south-westerly wind attempted to cool us off a bit.
We had a sit-down lunch, very well catered for by ‘The Spotted Zebra’ , and then there were fires for others who joined us for a bring-and-braai. All told, we probably had about 200 people at the field.

This year we were pleased to have Claus Keuchel and Marie Reddy appear in our midst. Most pleasant!
Early in the day Steve McCurrach took a few of his friends for flights, which gave folk something to watch, and Ian Crawley arrived in his immaculate Sling to the approval of all who saw it.

Arthur Gemperle entertained with a couple of landings of his Rotaway Exec ZU-LIZ onto the mown helipad. Chris Hicks in the Aeronca Chief ZSAPY and Keith Stacey in his Super Cub ZS-SKV went out into the strong crosswind and showed the crowd some moving aeroplanes in their natural environment.
After the flying was all but blown out, a couple of the invited model aeroplane guys gave us a fine display of large model flying.
All in all, it was a splendid day. Lots more aircraft were due in, but the strong crosswind deterred all but those I have mentioned.
The Taylor Monoplane project is moving along slowly and was out on the lawn to whet appetites.